The search for the best online casino doesn’t need to be long and complicated. That’s because this team of experts has done the hard work for you! In this guide, you can find casino reviews and more.
Also you can find recommendations from our experts, details about how to identify the best online casinos and many other useful tips and tricks. We carry out a test on online casinos that is objective and thorough. The reason behind this is that we know you will have your own requirements, so we don’t let our ideas and needs get in the way.
In this guide, you’ll discover the best online casinos, find out how they make it onto that list, and learn more about what to expect from casino operators. From understanding whether a casino is secure, to knowing the best way to navigate the casino lobby, this guide and comparison will equip you to be able to make the most of your online casino experience.
Everyone who wants to play is in search of the best online casino. What makes it the best might differ from person to person, but the need to have a fantastic playing experience is universal. The online casino reviews and guides are designed to introduce you to the best online casinos and to give you an introduction to the kinds of services and features that you can expect. We acknowledge that some parts will suit the needs of beginners, who are looking at online casino reviews in the UK for the first time.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t provided something for more advanced users too. Those with a little more experience will have a better idea of what makes the best online casino for them, and the reviews and recommendations can save a lot of time and effort. We have tested online casinos to help you understand the experience you’ll get before you even register.
The casino industry is competitive, which is great news for customers, especially those looking to change to a different operator to meet their needs. Using these guides and reviews, you’ll be that much closer to enjoying the best online casino for you.
Read More: Our Casino Reviews
Often, the number one fear for customers signing up to a new operator is the question: are online casinos safe? We understand that depositing your money is a big step and one that you should take while feeling completely comfortable. That’s why we’ve put together a checklist of 5 steps that shows you what to look for in the most secure and best online casinos.
If there is one at-a-glance test for online casinos, it’s checking for a license. This will always be mentioned in our reviews, but you can take a look for yourself too. Online casinos and other gambling operators will usually include the logo of the licensing body and details of the license in the footer of the website.
A license is something we look for in the best online casinos because it’s a sign that the operation is authorised and regulated. In order for a casino to offer its services in the UK, it needs to have a license from the UK Gambling Commission. This body oversees fairness, aims to prevent illegal activities like money laundering, and can step in to ensure issues are dealt with.
A secure online casino will use encryption tools such as an SSL (or secure socket layer) to protect transactions. Secure sites can be identified by the padlock symbol in the website address bar, which will also give you more information about your connection and the site’s certificate. Sites that have all of these things in place are showing that they’re taking action to keep data secure.
Knowing where you stand as a customer is something that the best online casinos can offer. This can be achieved in a number of ways. One of the main ones is including useful sections on the website, such as terms & conditions, bonus rules, and a help centre.
Another aspect of making sure that customers know how things work is to design a website in a way that is clear and easy to navigate. The information itself should be set out in a simple way that is easy to understand. This way, you won’t be tripped up by any surprise rules or procedures.
In an ideal world, everything would run like clockwork. However, the best online casinos know that this can’t always be achieved, and so they have a customer service team in place to help. It could be a query about claiming a bonus, or resolving an issue with a withdrawal; either way, communication is key.
A fair and secure gambling experience relies on the fact that you can get in touch with the operator to give feedback or resolve any concerns. This means offering support, ideally 24/7. Most commonly, this is through live chat, a phone line, and/or email.
As well as information about the general use of the site, a great gambling experience relies on the best online casinos working with reputable software providers. The games, whether they are slots, roulette, or video poker, should have RNGs (or random number generators) that are tested for fairness.
As a player, you should be able to look at a game, understand how to play it, and find information about the minimum and maximum bets, as well as the paytable. This explains how you win, how much, and the value of different cards and symbols in combination.
This best online casino pick comes not only from impressing the editor as one of the safest online casinos, but it also ticks many other boxes. Our editor’s recommendation highlights an operator that stands out from all of the online casino reviews in the UK.
Several operators make our best online casino list thanks to their excellent welcome bonus, fantastic live casino product, or due to convenience and speed when it comes to payments. The best operator is an all-rounder that caters to many customer needs. It has reliable customer service options, a well-designed website, and a reputation that gives us, and you, confidence in the service.
As well as being one of the most reputable online casinos, it needs to deliver on content. That’s why our best online casino selection has high-quality games and a balance and variety in the catalogue that means that it will appeal to many players.
We look at slots games, table games, video poker, and the options in the live casino to assess whether a casino has enough to keep players entertained over a longer period of time. Some players want jackpots, others want to use strategy and skill, and the editor’s recommendation delivers on both fronts.
The information that you find on this site in our guides and reviews is based on our tried and tested method of objectively examining operators. We tailor our approach for casinos, sportsbooks, and other products like poker rooms and bingo games.
Here we explain the criteria that we use to test online casinos. Each section plays an important role in helping us to identify the best online casino, and they help us highlight the features that matter most to you.
In our experience, the best online casinos all share one attribute. They typically work with more than one software provider, and they partner with the best in the business to deliver a range of top-quality games. Many of the most popular titles come from game studios like IGT, NetEnt, Playtech, and WMS.
Working with big names and some smaller studios means you get an array of favourites, as well as some titles with interesting features, and one or two exclusives. It’s all about great gameplay, including graphics, soundtrack, theme, and of course, the bonus features.
No matter if a casino has the most generous bonus or a large number of exciting progressive jackpot games, it still needs to meet the security criteria. Safe online casinos give you the peace of mind that you can deposit your money and enjoy playing.
This is one of the most important basic criteria for the best online casino. Generally, it’s the kind of thing you don’t notice until it’s missing, such as a license and the proper policies. A smooth experience where operations are carried out fairly is the bare minimum, so choosing a casino that meets this standard is important.
Fortunately, there are lots of great casinos out there. However, to stand out from the crowd, many operators turn to bonuses, which is why they are an essential element in our tests for the top online casinos in the UK.
We examine welcome packages, deposit offers, free spins, and ongoing promotions to see how customers can benefit. This isn’t the only consideration for top online casino bonuses, as they need to be realistic in terms of wagering requirements and other restrictions.
A crucial part of our testing is the review of customer support. This ranges from looking at the number of contact methods available to the hours that you can get in touch. It’s helpful to know if there is an option to call directly, or if there is live chat on offer 24/7, as this often guarantees the most prompt response.
We also take care to mention whether the customer agents are polite, professional, and helpful. If there is a VIP service, we look at dedicated channels and account managers too.
We know that the main reason you sign up is to play games. There are several aspects that we pay attention to, to make sure that the operator that we select as the best online casino is delivering a quality gaming experience.
We examine the number of games overall, as well as how those are divided into categories, such as slots, table games, video poker, and more. Another consideration is whether the games suit smaller budgets, high rollers, or both. A variety of themes and good quality features finish up the elements of the review of games.
When it comes to real money casinos, there’s an essential step that you need to complete to play. Being able to make a deposit using your preferred secure method makes your online casino experience more convenient.
We look at the range of methods on offer for deposit and withdrawal. We also take a look at any fees involved, the minimum and maximum amounts, and the time it takes to process the requests.
One of the most popular features that has grown in its attraction in recent years is the live casino. Customers enjoy having the action take place in front of their eyes, and it brings more of the glitz and glamour of the casino into your home. That’s why the best online casinos need to deliver a quality live casino section.
A great HD stream helps to give a crisp and clear picture and smooth betting experience. There should also be a decent number of tables and a good range of interesting games and casino classics.
Registering for an account, depositing money, finding your favorite games, and withdrawing your winnings should all be straightforward. That’s why design and usability play a role in our reviews.
We want to see that customers can easily use the menu to navigate to the promotions, and from there to the live casino, slots, or find the newest jackpot games. It’s not just the menus that matter. The colour scheme needs to be appealing, and the layout should make the games look good and the information easy to read.
Another way that casinos can give their customers something extra is through loyalty programs and VIP clubs. We check to see if an operator offers these schemes and, if so, look at how they work.
This includes examining how you can join the program, how you collect points, and what the benefits are. That means looking at VIP events, rewards that come as free spins, or bonus funds, and refer-a-friend programs.
Every now and then, you come across a casino that is aiming to do something different for its customers. This could include running lots of cash prize competitions, weekly and monthly tournaments, offering special games like bingo, or running poker tournaments.
Read More: Our UK Online Casino Reviews
What constitutes the best online casino is subjective. We’re well aware of this fact, which is why we conduct objective casino tests so that we can deliver the essential information without bias. The reviews on this site take into consideration several aspects of the casino operation so that you can focus on the parts that matter most to you.
If you want to know which is the best online casino for you, you can choose the three or four elements that you prioritise and value most in an operator. This could be the best live online casino, payment methods, and bonus. Or perhaps you’re keen to know about the security, software providers, and customer support options.
We pay equal attention to all of the casino attributes so that you can compare the different operators and decide which is the best online casino. If you don’t have any experience of playing at an online casino, then you can still use these comparisons to identify the right operator for you.
Why Choose Us?
We’re more than a site that provides online casino reviews in the UK. You’ll also find guides, tips and tricks, and strategies. These are designed to help you understand your playing style and requirements, which will get you closer to knowing which is the best online casino for you. It can assist you with knowledge about the pros and cons of a mobile casino or app, or which games you’ll find most entertaining.
The tips and strategies that we provide will also help you make the most of your time when playing at the best online casino. It could be knowing how to manage your bankroll, having a betting strategy in blackjack, or using your free spins to make the most of them.
You might already have an idea of what you’re looking for in the best online casino for you. To help you get to exactly where you need to go, we’ve outlined the main sections of the site, which act as quick links, but also give you an explanation. We tell you what we cover and why so that you can make an informed decision and choose from the top online casinos in the UK.
1) Casino Comparison
This section contains information about the different offers from the casinos. It means you can focus on the elements that matter to you and see how it compares at all the different operators. It gives you the opportunity to look at the main aspects side by side. Rather than getting lost in all the details, this section keeps it simple, with an at a glance view of what the casinos have to offer.
2) Bonus Comparison
Similar to the casino comparison, this section focuses on the bonuses that different operators provide. A promotion doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ve found the best online casino, but if it’s a factor in your decision making, then getting an overview of them all is very useful.
In this section, you can look at free spins, deposit match offers, and other welcome bonuses to decide which is best for you.
3) Operator/Bonus Reviews
At a glance information has its uses, but there is also a need to delve into the details. You’ll find that here in our operator and bonus reviews. For the casino operator element, we put the services under the microscope to bring you information about software providers, games, limits, live casino activities, and the general experience you’ll get at the best online casinos. You can rest assured that the operators that we feature and recommend are safe casinos.
The bonus reviews tackle the sign up offers, but also bring to light any ongoing promotions, as well as rewards programs. We explore how easy it is to claim the offers, what the wagering requirements are, and what you need to do to make a withdrawal when you have a bonus.
Easily considered the most fundamental element of the best online casino, games are the star attraction, and so we dedicate some time to explaining what is on offer. This starts with a look at the software providers and their most popular titles.
We also explore the number of games. That means looking at whether there is a good balance of slots and table games, as well as highlighting the jackpot games, video poker, and specials like keno and sic bo.
This section looks at the most popular payments used at the best online casinos. It takes a closer look at the process you need to complete to set up one of these payment types, as well as working through the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
We explore common payment options such as debit cards, and highlight PayPal online casinos, which are a popular choice, thanks to the security, quick processing times, and extra layer of anonymity for your bank details.
It doesn’t end when you’ve found the best online casino. We also provide helpful guides from our experts that look at how you can approach playing at an online casino, and how to place and profit from sports bets.
All players can benefit from some tips on how to manage their bankroll. There are also strategies for casino games, like blackjack, which is heavily based on decision making. There isn’t a foolproof way to win, but you can improve your chances, and have more fun when you target your approach.
We’re here to build a community with you. That’s why we explain how we approach finding the best online casino. We set out the information in a way that we hope is useful to you, and beyond the reviews and comparisons, we also provide guides to help you make the most of your time online.
We also like to hear from you, which is why we have opportunities to vote for the best casinos, sportsbooks, and bonuses. We also look forward to your comments and feedback that help other players and us.
We’ve spoken a lot in this guide about choosing the best online casino, but that might not be your only consideration. For example, there might be something else that you want from an operator.
These days it’s common for an operator to do more than just one thing. That means many sportsbooks now offer casino services and vice versa. You’ll see many multi-purpose products, where you can enjoy poker, casino, and sportsbook services with one account.
This brings new questions into the equation; beyond finding the best online casino, you’ll also want to know which betting site is best. There are advantages to finding the best of both worlds in one place, but it’s worth acknowledging that some compromises might need to be made.
It’s possible that you might find the best online casino, and it could also have a decent sportsbook that offers good odds for the markets you want to bet on. In this case, you get exactly what you want, and also have the convenience of using one account where you already understand the rules, have verified, and know your way around.
Another possible outcome is that you find a good online casino that accompanies a sportsbook that has some great free bets as a bonus and gives you the live streaming access you want. A few compromises might be made, but on the whole, you have everything in one place that you need. You might also qualify for more promotions or benefits, such as a loyalty or VIP program, because you are a regular customer.
The most reputable online casino will bring its license, security, and good practice to whatever it does. That means you can expect the same quality at the sportsbook or poker room. It might seem like a minor thing, but knowing what to expect and that you’ll have a good experience holds a lot of value. This is especially true when it comes to deposits and withdrawals, and the fact that limits shouldn’t be an issue.
Choosing an operator so that you can use all of their gambling products isn’t always the best choice. Although the operator will bring their license and good customer service, knowledge of running a casino doesn’t always translate to running a successful sportsbook. It can depend on the partners and software that the company uses. As you can tell from our reviews, not all products are worth your attention.
Finding an operator that meets your needs for sports betting and casino games can be quite challenging and means making a compromise. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use the best online casino and best sportsbook or poker room for you on one site.
Many operators have one area that is the focus, especially if they originally started as a sportsbook, then the casino is usually the weaker product. As online gambling is a competitive industry, sites are looking to attract customers, so they might offer great value odds or could be the best online casino, but they still need to make a profit.
Many companies choose to have one or two standout features, such as excellent sports odds and lots of live streaming options. However, this means other areas take the hit, with the likely result being small or no casino bonuses. Although it is convenient, this is why it might not make sense to bet on sports and play at the casino on the same site.
The Casino Lobby
Once you’ve found the best online casino for you and registered for an account, your experience will begin in the casino lobby. Much like entering a land-based casino, there’ll be bright colours and interesting sites looking to grab your attention.
Being new to the casino means you’ll be faced with one of two issues. You’ll know what you want, but won’t know how to find it, or you’ll want to find some games that you’ll enjoy but won’t know where to start. The best casino sites should organise the games in a clear way, and these tips will also help you find what you need.
How Games Are Organised
Most online casinos display their game titles in attractive tiles. This keeps them organised in a grid, but also brings some colour to the page. From the tiles, you should be able to see the title, and that, combined with the graphics, should give you an idea of the theme and style of play.
Taking things a step further, you’ll find that several online casinos offer a search or filter function to help you find what you are looking for. This could organise games from A to Z or list them based on the software developer that produced them. The most common way of organising, though, is through categories.
Often, the most popular games are grouped at the top, which means you’ll find some of the best online casino games, according to your fellow players, as these are the most in-demand. Other categories include new titles, jackpots, or progressive jackpots, where a larger pool of money can be won, slots, table games, special games, and live casino. We go into more detail about these main game types below.
Almost every casino out there has a lobby that is dominated by slot games. The range of titles can number in the hundreds if not thousands. It’s great news for fans of these brightly coloured games that have the classic sounds of the casino. However, it can make it challenging to find the title you want.
The best online casinos will make it easy for you to find the top rated slot games, by positioning them first on the page. This is a good place to start, for anyone who’s looking for a new game to play.
Other slot sections are arranged based on the game style. You might see Megaways, 243 pay lines, and progressive jackpots as categories. The first indicates slots where the number of symbols on rows and reels can change at random. Pay lines are how the symbols line up in a winning combination, so games with a high number, show that there are lots of ways to win. Progressive jackpots have a prize pool connected to the same game at other casinos, each time it is played, a percentage is added to the pot, meaning it can go into the millions.
The best online casinos have games that differ by theme, too. You might find games grouped by animal theme, superheroes, or TV, film, and music. Games based on Jimi Hendrix, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Family Guy, and Planet of The Apes are all popular and would sit in this category.
The casino classics can be found in the section labelled table games. The name comes from the fact that in a land-based casino, these games would be played at a felt table. It’s often a smaller section as there are a set number of classic games, though you will find variations.
A healthy selection of table games is a must for the best online casinos. Players who prefer strategy and skill will be looking for a casino with 20 to 30 table games to keep them interested. The classics are named so for a reason, but players will want variations to have something new to try.
Games in this section are usually roulette, with French, American, and European versions being the basics, and more exciting variants like lightning, immersive, and VIP roulette also appearing. Another game that casinos almost always have is blackjack, which might come as an Atlantic City or two-handed variant.
Other table classics include baccarat, mini baccarat, craps, and casino poker, such as three-card poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Caribbean Stud. These differ from tournament style poker and cash games in a poker room as you are playing against the house and not other players.
A popular way for the best online casinos to recreate the thrill and glamour of the casino floor is through a live casino. This involves games that use live streams, often in HD, that connect to the casino floor, where dedicated dealers and croupiers are waiting.
For casinos that have a land-based partner, they can set aside some of the casino floor for this activity. Others will set up a link with specially created live casinos that are offered to different networks. Many players trust these games more as they can see what is happening with the roulette ball or the cards.
Live casino games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, and some slot variations, such as deal or no deal, dream catcher, and Monopoly live. Having numerous tables with a good range of bet stakes is a sign that you are playing at one of the best online casinos for live games.
There are some games that don’t fit neatly into any of the categories mentioned above. These titles will typically be listed as other or special games. You might find that the best online casino for you is one with a special section, as it offers something a bit different.
Special games include bingo, scratchcards, keno, which is a lottery style game, red dog, and Pai Gow. They are usually games of luck that don’t involve slot reels and aren’t traditional card games.
There are a lot of top online casinos in the UK. They all offer great services, and new ones are appearing all the time, with sportsbooks launching their own products and operators from other markets securing a UK license.
This results in two things. One is that it can be challenging to find the best online casino for you without help, don’t worry, we’re here! The second is that casinos need to find methods to help them stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the ways casinos try to grab your attention.
Some casinos have the advantage of already having a well-established reputation or a well-known name. This works to attract customers as a long reputation signals a trustworthy online casino. Upset your customers or don’t pay out, and it can be hard to survive in this competitive environment, so years of operation behind you is a good sign.
These brand names can be synonymous with the best online casinos, but how do they get people to hear about them? There are a few ways. Some are linked to sports betting, where the operator started as a high street betting shop. These names, like William Hill, have had a physical presence in UK towns for many years.
Other brands are also multi-purpose products with sports links, and they go down the sponsorship route. Many customers become familiar with casino names because they are on the shirts of the top football teams. The third way that a brand name is established is through famous land-based casinos. They aren’t as numerous as those in the US, but places like the Grosvenor have successfully taken their quality casino reputation online.
For those that are already looking for an online casino where they can play, there is one type of incentive that almost all casinos use. It’s the welcome bonus, and it can be found at poker rooms, bingo sites, and sportsbooks too. It’s not necessarily a sign of the best online casino, but a good offer can certainly make a big difference.
The idea behind welcome bonuses is to give players the chance to explore the site without needing to risk too much of their own money. It makes you feel like you’re getting something for free, and you can play different games, and play more than you would with just your deposit amount. Players see bonuses as a way to increase the chance of winning, although they do have restrictions and requirements.
The most common types of bonuses are match deposit offers and free spins. Match deposits involve the casino topping up your balance according to how much you paid in. For example, with a 100% match up to £100, if you deposit £70, you’ll get another £70 and will have £140 in total. Free spins are often linked to specific games. You might receive 100 for signing up, and they will be released as 20 each day for 5 different games.
Operators put some thought into the design of the casino. This can be done to make it appealing, attractive, and easy to navigate, as is the way with the best online casinos. There is another reason behind this work, which is designed to attract players.
Many casinos choose themes that aim to appeal to players but suiting their hobbies, personalities, and preferences. This can result in gimmicks or themes that are quite unusual but well-developed. These range from classic casino themes of luck, royalty or symbols of wealth, and also include aliens and animals.
Devices like mascots or elaborate storylines have been used to launch casinos so that they stick in prospective customers’ minds and stand out from the others. It can make casinos fun, but it’s important to pay attention to the content as well as the style.
Games & Gamification
The best online casinos will draw you in with their great content, whether it’s your favorite game, a large choice of live casino tables, or an impressive range of progressive jackpots. Before you sign up, you should be able to browse the casino catalogue on the site and see our reviews of the games on offer.
Some operators take things a step further. Since winning and competing is all part of the fun, gamification is popular at casinos. It takes steps like playing at different parts of the casino, making deposits, or even just logging in regularly, and turns them into achievements that unlock special rewards, or position you on a leaderboard so you can track your progress.
Although it could be designed to make you play more than usual, if done well, gamification can make the casino experience more fun, and immersive, and give you more rewards. This is why it works to attract new players.
Adverts and Word of Mouth
Casinos still rely on traditional routes to attract new customers. That’s why you’ll see adverts in magazines, on TV and hear them on the radio. They might offer you a bonus, or just use the bright colours and themes to attract you to this form of entertainment that brings the excitement of winning.
One of the best ways to attract new customers is to deliver consistently. It’s not as exciting as some of the other ways, but it’s something that the best online casinos do. As a result, they’ll get good results and reviews from us, and will attract customers from word of mouth recommendations and online reviews. There are plenty of casino scam horror stories out there, so finding a site that delivers what customers expect is a big draw!
You can use a casino bonus to explore the games, once you’ve chosen the best online casino for you, but why not get a head start. We’ve got some hints and tips to help you discover your playing style and to match that to online casino games. It will help you pick titles that are fun but will also guide you to a casino that caters to your needs.
The appeal of casino games, apart from fun and the potential winnings, can sometimes be the anticipation. This comes from players waiting for the outcome of the game and is essential to most forms of gambling.
If you love the thrill and want that feeling of anticipation enhanced, then we’ve got some suggestions for the best online casino games for you. There are two main types of games that will fit the bill. The first is live casino games, especially roulette. The glamour of the casino floor plus the fact that you can see and hear the roulette wheel spinning, sometimes in slow motion, builds the anticipation even more.
Other games that stimulate your sense are also good for thrill-seekers. Many slots have dazzling graphics and an atmospheric soundtrack that turn a simple game into a fun experience that’s full of exciting moments, free spins, bonus features, and the thrill of getting close to the jackpot.
There’s an element of luck to all casino games. However, there are some that require skill and thinking. If you want to make a series of decisions that affect the outcome of the game and plan your approach, then the best online casino games in the strategist category are for you.
One of the most popular casino games is blackjack, and it suits those who want to perfect a strategy. The game is easy to pick up and has a relatively low house edge, which can be defined as the ratio of average loss to your initial wager. It’s a favourite with strategists because it involves decision making. You can practice and get better at knowing when to hit and when to stand, even luck is still involved.
Some of the best games for strategy are video poker and casino poker. Learning the values of the different poker hands, and understanding which cards to keep and which to discard is something that you can improve on, and use your decision-making skills to good effect.
If you have a big budget, then you not only need to find the best online casino for you, but you also will want to find the games where you can spend and win big. There are plenty of games aimed at smaller bankrolls, or medium weight players who bet at the top end of the limits.
Standard bet limits for games might not suit your needs as a high roller, which means you need to look out for games that mention salon prive, VIP, or high limit. These are often found in the live casino section, but there are other recommendations that will suit those with a big bankroll.
One casino game that is fast-paced, has a low house edge, and some higher limits, is baccarat. It doesn’t require much skill, just a knowledge of the game, but it is immensely fun to play. High rollers will feel at home at standard or live tables.
Take Your Chances
If you’d rather depend on luck than skill, then the choice of best online casino game for you is quite broad. Slots are popular games of chance, and you can find so many different themes that you’re likely to find something to suit your style. It could be vampires, animals, Jimi Hendrix, or the classic fruit games which are full of nostalgia.
Reputable online casinos and game providers will supply information about the statistical probability of winning, which is known as the RTP or return to player. This is represented as a percentage, and most slot games have an RTP between 94 and 96%. Just because you like to take your chances, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand odds and probability.
Other popular games of chance include craps, where the outcome is based on the roll of the dice. Roulette is another favorite for those who are looking for entertainment and to see the role that luck can play.
History Of Casinos
Gambling is a part of history. It doesn’t just go back decades or centuries, but was evident in the earlier records of civilization. The concept of the best online casino games is different from what we’re talking about today, but there are some close links.
There’s evidence that Chinese lottery games like keno were around in 2300BC, and at the time the Great Wall of China was being built. It’s believed that Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks played with dice and that Romans used chips in the place of real money when playing.
This has all shaped gambling as it exists today, and what has grown and evolved over time are the places where betting and playing takes place. The word casino didn’t exist, but the concept of a gambling house did. It dates back to Italy in the 1600s, where the first known house offered gambling opportunities during the Venice carnival. The word casino comes from Italian, casa, meaning house.
The Rise in Europe
Slowly, over time, gambling houses became popular throughout Europe. In the 1800s, they could be seen in the UK, although they would have been known as gaming clubs. In the US, gambling was informal and took place in saloons. Later, it became a form of entertainment on steamboats, a good way to pass the time and avoid any issues with authorities that didn’t permit gambling.
As gaming clubs or gambling houses developed, so did the games. The roulette wheel was invented in France, poker, baccarat, and blackjack became popular card games, and the first one-armed bandit or fruit machine was built. The activities started to more closely resemble the best online casinos we know today. By the time gambling was legalized in the US in the 1930s, everything was in place to create casinos as we know them today.
Las Vegas and Land-based Casinos
Following the legalisation of gambling in Nevada, casino resorts began to appear on what is now known as the Strip. At first, they took their theme from the saloons of the west, but glamour and Hollywood soon became the new style. Tourists were attracted to the destination by the resorts and the stars that performed there.
In the years to come, casinos got larger, turning into mega-resorts with sprawling casino floors and thousands of rooms, suites, and other amenities. Just as with today’s best online casinos, a sense of identity was required. The new theme for casinos came from desirable destinations across the world. New Jersey developed Atlantic City as a resort city, combining casinos with ocean views.
Legalisation of casinos in the UK came in 1960, and the first ones were established as members-only clubs. UK casinos mostly took on an opulent theme, which lasts to this day. A large proportion of the land-based casinos are owned by one of two groups, Grosvenor Casinos, and Genting Group.
One final ingredient was required to get us closer to the best online casinos that we think of today. The internet brought another twist to the story of gambling and casinos. In the mid-90s, pioneers Microgaming, who are still giants in the industry today, began developing the games and platforms for online gambling.
By the end of the decade, the race was on to be the best online casino, in an industry that was worth over one billion dollars. Advances came in different areas, from the first themed casino game that used the Lara Croft character to the advances in 5-reel slots with bonus features, Megaways, and progressive jackpots.
Success meant that many new online casinos were established. This meant that the industry became competitive and even more innovative. Bonuses and special features were added to encourage new customers to register, and players were spoilt for choice when picking the best online casino.
In the early 2000s, the live casino element brought the concept of land-based casinos and popular online casinos together, creating an exciting hybrid that brought the best of both worlds. Casinos continue to attract millions of visitors to their destinations and online.
Many players today will have only experienced casino games online, but how does the experience compare to playing in a bricks and mortar casino? We take a look at the differences and advantages of the best online casinos and physical casinos.
One feature that you’ll find at the best casino websites, but that is less common at land-based casinos, is the welcome offer. Some offline casinos do reward their regular players, and they might give them free drinks or vouchers for food, but the best online casinos focus on generous rewards for all.
Free spins, deposit match bonuses, and cashback deals are just some of the ways online players can benefit. They’re used to draw in new players and give customers extra funds to spend on the games at the online casino.
The surroundings and the atmosphere of a land-based casino are part of what makes the experience special. Whether it’s a visit to a grand Grosvenor casino in London or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Las Vegas, it’s an experience that is far from everyday life.
Even the most reputable online casinos can’t recreate this feeling. The live casino comes closest to recreating the thrills and glamour of being inside a casino, but it isn’t quite the same. You might still prefer the best online casinos, but they do offer a different experience that doesn’t involve dressing up and feeling the buzz from the other players.
Choice and Convenience
For many, the need for glamour and atmosphere is overshadowed by the convenience of playing online. There is no need to dress up and no need to travel, which means you can play when you feel like it.
Another reason why players like it best at online casinos is the comfort of playing in your own home, or wherever you want. This means that you can be relaxed, which not only adds to the enjoyment but keeping your composure is likely to help your gameplay too.
Online casinos usually have a wider selection of games too, which means finding what you want, and most importantly, when you want it. You won’t need to wait for a seat at a table when you play online, just launch the game and play.
Online Casinos & Technology
We’ve established that online casinos owe their existence to the internet, but the best online casinos use technology to their advantage in many other ways. By looking at how the industry has evolved over the last few decades, we can get an idea of where it is heading in the future.
Desktop and Mobile Gaming
Adapting to take advantage of the technologies available to its customers is what the best online casino does. As internet connections improved, many operators went from offering a software download to instant play games so that players could enjoy the casino from their desktop straight away.
The next advancement was to move the casino to where customers spend most of their time, which is on their smartphones. Software providers began designing games in a format that could be launched and played on mobiles. Now most casinos have their own app, and the majority of the games can be played on smaller screens.
AI and RNG
Something that could be called the backbone of the best online casinos is the random number generator or RNG. Instead of needing a croupier to spin the wheel or a dealer to hand out the cards, an RNG uses an algorithm to create that fair and random element of chance required for customers to trust and enjoy the games they play.
A technological element that has as much influence as the RNG is AI or artificial intelligence. It’s used in a number of ways, from acting as your opponent in games, to understanding your preferences and making recommendations. Another useful way that AI improves the casino experience is through managing live chat responses.
VR and AR
A more recent advance is the use of virtual reality in casino games. Taking things one step further than a live casino, a virtual reality game can emulate the entire surrounds and atmosphere of a blackjack game or the spinning of the roulette wheel.
The best online casinos adopt cutting edge technology and find ways to enhance their offer from early on. This is currently the case with augmented reality. Casinos are exploring ways to turn players’ living rooms into their own personal casino.
The uses of blockchain technology are still developing, but one of the main ones is cryptocurrency. Several casinos have embraced using it as a payment method, while other casinos have launched as cryptocurrency only platforms.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies have a role to play in contributing to the best online casino experience. Transactions are fast, typically they are free, and the fact that they are traceable, while also not connected to your bank details means that they are secure.
Where 5G Will Take The Best Online Casinos
The capabilities of the internet open up possibilities for online casinos. Increased bandwidth has allowed live casinos with HD streams to operate, which means that improved networks like 5G are likely to enhance the best casino websites.
In the future, we can expect further innovations and uses of new technologies to improve the experience for customers.
Deciding which is the best online casino for you is the first step. The guides on this site will help you determine your priorities and pick a casino that is a good fit. Once you’ve chosen, you can register for an account and start playing, but where do you want to play? We’ve explored the options and are here to explain the differences.
The original place that customers accessed casino pages online was on their desktop, and that hasn’t changed for many. Some people feel more comfortable filling out forms, adding their payment details, and getting their accounts set up on a full-screen desktop site.
Accessing the best online casinos from your desktop makes sense for a number of reasons. It guarantees that you can use all of the features and games since some sites might not offer all payment options on mobile, and some games aren’t mobile-friendly. It also allows you to appreciate game features and graphics in all their glory.
Fans of strategy games often prefer the larger screen view when playing poker or blackjack. It helps if you can see all of the action, pay attention to the small details, and sit somewhere quiet to focus on the game.
Mobile Casino: Phone or Tablet
Almost all of the best online casinos have a mobile version of their site that allows customers to access the content on their smartphone or tablet. It runs in a browser, similar to the way it would on your desktop, but is designed to fit on the smaller screen.
This means that the layout is adapted, and content and graphics are streamlined to assist with clarity, loading times, and navigation. The best casino websites strike the right balance by adapting to different devices, without losing any of the key features that you need.
The advantage of playing on a smartphone or tablet, apart from the fact that you might not have a desktop, is that you can sit comfortably and play anywhere. An online casino can become part of the entertainment on your commute, while waiting in line, or travelling. If you want to find out more, you can check out our mobile casino reviews.
Dedicated Casino App
In some cases, you’ll find that the best online casinos have created a dedicated app where you can use the different products and services that they offer. There are several advantages to providing services through an app.
Unlike in a browser, once you set up the preferences for the app, you can have everything set up the way you like it, with favourite games and customised content. Apps can be better organised, and most importantly, work from local data rather than web serves. This means that they’re often faster when it comes to loading or performing actions.
Wherever you choose to play at the best online casino, make sure that you have access to the games and features that you want.
If you’ve found the best online casino for you, then as you start to explore the site or app, you might see information about responsible gambling. The gambling industry, led by governments and regulatory bodies, implements guidance and initiatives to ensure gambling is fair, casual, and fun.
Gambling that can cause harm can happen to inexperienced players, as well as those that are familiar with casinos. Measures can be taken to ensure that playing at a casino stays as a form of entertainment, and doesn’t cross over into something that causes financial or any other kind of distress. The best online casinos help players by providing information, measures, and pointing them in the right direction.
In practice, this means you’ll see links to support organisations, such as BeGambleAware, GamCare, and GamStop. Take a look at the footer of any of the best online casinos mentioned on our site, and you should see logos for these initiatives, as well as a responsible gambling section.
The best online casino practice also includes guidance and controls for players. These include limits on your playtime, how much you can deposit, and spend, and you can set up times to take a break from your account. There are also tools for self-exclusion, which means you take a longer break, where the operator will not permit you to gamble with them for a period of 6 months or more.
New and advanced players alike can improve their experience at the best online casinos by following tips and strategies. We haven’t designed these with just profits in mind; they are also tips to help you get the most enjoyment out of your time playing.
You can’t win every time. If there was a magic formula for making every spin of the slot machine a winning one, then even the best online casinos would have gone out of business by now. It’s essential that you accept that sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a strategic approach to what you play, how much you wager, and the decisions you make.
Acknowledging that there is a house edge will prepare you for the fact that the money you’re spending to play might not come back to you. The best online casino games will be fair, but they still involve a chance to lose as well as win.
Most casino games involve chance and luck, which means your influence over them is very small. However, knowledge can still be used to your advantage. Knowing how to play a game can influence your behaviour, and knowing the odds can help you to choose your bets and the amount that you bet, which will change how much you stand to win or lose.
Casino rewards can be used to your advantage, but they should never get the best of you. Don’t deposit more than you normally would, or play a lot more than you feel comfortable with for the sake of a bonus, it should add to the funds that you use to extend your gameplay and enjoyment.
If the wagering requirements are too high, find another offer or accept that you won’t be able to withdraw any profits. The best online casinos will make the terms and conditions clear.
Whatever the best online casino game is for you, there is an element of luck, and then there are some things that you can control. Using a strategy to plan your approach means taking control of those variants so that you are prepared for your losses, as well as your wins.
Bankroll management is the only strategy that can help you no matter what game you play. It involves setting limits and deciding when to stop. For each player, this might look different. It could mean setting a monthly budget and then breaking that down into smaller stake amounts. You might decide that you’ll set a top budget and stop after a certain amount of time playing, or you might call it a day after any significant win. This strategy can be applied at the best online casino, or anywhere else you play.
Blackjack is often considered as one of the best online casino games because of the low house edge, and because you can apply a strategy. Even with RNGs, it’s worth knowing how many decks of cards you’re playing with. This will help you to know how many instances of each card type there are. You can find strategy cards for blackjack, which advise you on your best move in different scenarios; finding one that works for you and practicing can be beneficial.
Another of the best online casino games for strategy is video poker. There are several variants, such as Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Make sure you understand the rules for the different types and choose the one with the lowest house edge. You can also use a strategy card, which gives you hints at how to act depending on your starting hand. Understand the paytable, too, as playing with the maximum coins can unlock bigger wins.
The first step in any strategy is to find a safe online casino. The next step is to find the best online casino. After that, you’re ready to implement our other strategies and tips. If you’re a fan of placing a sports wager, then you can also make use of our free sports betting tips.
If you’re new to online casinos, or perhaps to some of the games, then it’s likely that there are some terms that you haven’t come across before. Just like any industry, gambling has its own language. Instead of letting that be a barrier to finding the best online casino, you can use our guide to become familiar with these key terms.
Our list of the best online casino terms that you need to know starts with some of the first words you’ll encounter. Casinos might refer to you as the player, customer, user, or patron, and the casino can be called the house or sometimes the banker, which can also refer to the dealer. Your account balance is known as your bankroll, and this can be split into two parts, cash funds, and bonus funds.
The best online casinos will explain any important terms in the bonus rules or terms and conditions. Usually, any welcome bonus or offer that you receive will be credited as bonus funds that only convert to cash when you have completed the wagering requirements. This brings us to another unfamiliar term. Wagering requirements, rollover, or playthrough indicates the number of times you need to bet the bonus amount before it can be converted to cash that can be withdrawn.
If you’ve played at a land-based casino, then you might be used to chips. At the best online casinos, it’s likely that you’ll be betting with a cash value or with coins. In slot games, these represent the amount you bet on each payline. A payline is a designated line across the reels, and the symbols need to line up in this way for you to win.
When playing at the best online casinos, you’ll encounter plenty of acronyms. One is RNG, which stands for random number generator. This is how the games are run; cards are randomly selected, roulette wheel results are chosen, and slot reels land at random. Another is RTP, which means return to player. It’s used for slots to show the percentage amount paid back to the player over a long period of time.
Visiting the best casino websites with this knowledge will leave you one step ahead of more inexperienced players, which can save you time. With this guide, it’s easier to have the best online casino experience.
We’ll leave you equipped with everything you need to find the best online casino for you. Not only can you access an extensive list of the top online casinos in the UK, but you’ll have the tips and strategies to use once you’ve registered.
Our help and guidance don’t stop there, as you can work out the best online casino games for you, understand how to manage your bankroll, and choose the best platform for you to play on. We believe that leaving you in a position to make informed choices is the best way to help you benefit from our UK online casino reviews. Enjoy!
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